La Fontaine Sainte Marie and the Place of Secrets.
This is one of the oldest monuments in Daglan which was built at the end of the eleventh century to quite strict building requirements:-
1) It was to be constructed in the form of a cross
2) It should be completed before the first drought following the installation of the Parish so the monks would have a source of fresh water.
3) It would be supplied by seven water sources to ensure supply.
4) It should be partially covered for protection from the sun.
5) Be adjacent to or overlooking a village square.
Daglans Fontaine ticks all of the boxes.
The basin is quite wide and has a depth of 60cm. A three part drainage system is used to channel the flow of water and prevent flooding.
The preservation of ancient monuments is one of the reasons that we love France and in particular the Perigord Noir, where you will notice other ‘fontaines’, providing fresh drinking water along old pilgrim routes.
If you turn around with ‘fontaine’ behind of you, on your left is the house which would have been Daglan’s first Chapel.
The Place of Secrets
This Secret Square is to be found tucked away behind the church of St Martin. It was the site of the original graveyard of the village until the eighteen hundreds.
There are a couple of things of interest here, the stone seating area beneath the gorgeous grape vine giving welcome shelter on a hot day. In the centre of the square stands a magnificent tree.
There is a plaque with fascinating information about the tree to be found at the entrance to the place of secrets. Here is a brief translation… Ginkgo Biloba or the tree of forty crowns originates in the Far East. The history of the Ginkgo Biloba goes back to before the dinosaurs. It is the oldest family of trees since it is known to have appeared before the Triassic age, more than 270 million years ago. It is extremely hardy, can survive temperatures to -30c and specimens have lived through the atomic bomb in Hiroshima in 1945. it can reach 30 metres in height and live for 2500 years, wow. The name ‘the tree of forty crowns’, comes from the fact that the French botanist M. Petigny who in 1788 bought five trees for the very expensive amount of forty crowns per foot.
Interesting grave stone saved from the old cemetery and placed into the wall of the church.
Something different, three dedications:-
To a lovely couple Hayley and Paul who particularly loved ‘La Fontaine’, and Daglan village when they visited. Have a speedy recovery Paul and we hope that we will see you both in Daglan very soon.
Two brilliant friends of ours who are so informative and a such a joy to spend time with, Sherry and Angus.
Last but not least, to a wonderful person who has helped Paul and I with Paul’s recent health scare and much, much more, Judith.
Thank you all the above, and see you soon.